Ann Arbor, MI - The Boston Junior Whalers are proud to share that three longtime members of our 2000 and 2001 Elite teams, have been named to the 2020 U.S. World Junior Championship Preliminary Roster. BJW 2000-born defensemen Zac Jones (Glen Allen, VA) and Jordan Harris (Haverhill, MA), who played as defensive partners on our back-to-back Mini Chowder Cup Champion teams in 2014 and 2015, along with 2019 Boston Bruins 1st Round Pick, and BJW '01 sharpshooter Johnny Beecher (Elmira, NY), will head to Ann Arbor, MI this weekend as USA Hockey narrows the roster down from 28 to 23, before shipping off to the Czech Republic to begin play in the world's most prestigious Under-20 Tournament.
Zac Jones is currently in his freshman season at UMass-Amherst, after a one-year junior campaign with the Tri-City Storm. Zac grew up in Virginia, an area that is far from a hockey hotbed, and as such had a unique youth hockey experience. In his youth years, Zac was a member of the Atlantic Storm - a satellite team comprised of players ranging from the Virginias down through Florida. Along with BJW 2000 teammates Tyler Weiss (Nebraska-Omaha), Mac Weisman (UConn), Sam Rhodes (OHL), and Sammy Steele (Arizona State), the Atlantic Storm were ranked #1 in the country for three consecutive seasons at the 2000 level. Zac then went on to play 4 years at South Kent prior to his matriculation to the USHL. Despite being overlooked for his size throughout his career, Zac continued to develop and was selected in the 3rd Round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers.
Jordan Harris played seven consecutive spring/summer seasons with our Boston Junior Whalers 2000 Elite Team, and is one of the most cerebral hockey players we have ever had. Harris grew up playing his youth hockey with the Minuteman Flames and won the prestigious Quebec PeeWee Tournament with that group back in 2012. After one season of full-season midget hockey, Jordan matriculated on to Kimball Union Academy where he played for three seasons and earned a scholarship to Northeastern University. Prior to last season where he suited up for the Huskies as a true freshman, he was selected in the 3rd Round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. Jordan's sophomore season is off to a great start with 11 points in his first 15 games.
Johnny Beecher played his youth hockey for the Syracuse Nationals program, before heading the prep route to attend the Salisbury School. After a standout first year at Salisbury, Johnny was selected to play the next two seasons as a member of the U.S. National Development Team where he excelled to a total of 124 points over the two-year stint in Ann Arbor. As a result of his continued progression as an incredibly fast power forward, Beecher was selected by the Boston Bruins in the 1st Round of the 2019 NHL Draft. We were fortunate enough to work with Johnny, and fellow Syracuse National youth teammate and 2019 1st Round Pick Thomas Harley, for three seasons through his peewee and bantam years. Johnny went straight in from the USNTDP as a true freshman to the University of Michigan, where he is off to a a terrific start.
Congratulations to Zac, Jordan, Johnny, and their families on this terrific honor, best of luck to all three players in their efforts to be named to the 2020 U.S. World Junior Championship roster, and we will be rooting for you from Boston!